After a year at Fairfield University, I’ve picked up tons of tips, tricks, and restaurant ideas for when the squad wants to go out to eat (or for when you’re just not digging Barone…it happens!). College kids usually get a bad rap for eating terribly, and while I can’t say that I’ve avoided late night cereal binges, or that I haven’t ordered Domino’s at two a.m., the restaurants in Fairfield make it a lot easier to eat better on a more regular basis.

Fairfield has plenty of options for all different kinds of eaters from sugar fiends to total health nuts. They’re all Stag-Approved and–spoiler alert–they’re all delicious!

1. When you need an Instagram-worthy caffeine buzz: Las Vetas Lounge


Photo courtesy of @lasvetaslounge on Instagram

Come second semester, Las Vetas was a godsend when I needed a cozy coffee shop to get some work done. It’s a quick walk from the bookstore, so it’s easily accessible by the StagBus, and full of cute, quirky charm. From the wide array of decorative mugs, to the bright wall art, to the delicious pastries, Las Vetas is a definite must for caffeine fiends.

What to Order: The iced turtle latte rivals a more expensive drink from Starbs, and if you’re in the mood for tea, you can’t go wrong with a “chaider”, which is basically the lovechild of chai tea and hot cider that you didn’t even know you needed in your life.

Location: 27 Unquowa Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


2. When you’re missing your hometown sandwich shop: Firehouse Deli


Photo courtesy of @victoria_marano

If there’s one food I missed more than anything else during my first semester, it was a good deli sandwich. Weird, I know, but Firehouse was able to give me my sandwich shop fix every time. Firehouse offers everything from cold sandwiches, to paninis, to perfectly melted BECs. And outdoor seating during the spring and summer months is a total bonus.

What to Order: The Redgate sandwich (grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, avocado, jack cheese, basil, and mayo on a hard roll) is something of a legend on the Fairfield campus. If you haven’t tried one, you’re not a full-fledged Stag. Try it in a wrap if you’re on the go because, power moves only.

Location: 22 Reef Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


3. When you need a serious sugar rush: MILKCRAFT


Photo courtesy of @milkcraftct on Instagram

Do you hear that? It’s the ice cream of your dreams calling. MILKCRAFT took Fairfield by storm when it first opened towards the end of the spring semester. This scoop shop is unique because it uses liquid nitrogen to help make its frozen treats right in front of the customers. Sure, the lines can keep you waiting for up to the time it would take to catch your eight a.m. class, but it’ll be so worth it once the first creamy lick hits your tongue.

What to Order: Go for the Cookie Butter Blue, a blue Speculoos cookies and cream butter flavor. Feel free to go wild with toppings, but whatever you do, don’t forget the bubble cone!

Location: 1215 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


4. When you need the breakfast of champions: Chip’s Family Restaurant


Photo courtesy of @lindsaydemunno on Instagram

Even though this restaurant sits dangerously close to rival school Sacred Heart’s turf, the sheer size and flavors of the pancakes make broaching enemy territory so, so worth it. Chip’s gives you the liberty to get crazy creative with mix-in’s and toppings for your pancakes: from lemon chips, to toasted walnuts, to M&Ms. But don’t worry, if pancakes aren’t your jam, there’s specialty waffles and French toast as well. A perfect spot for brunch on Family Weekend!

What to Order: Go for the Cinnabon pancakes, complete with a brown sugar cinnamon rub and powdered sugar glaze. If you’re looking for something a little more chocolatey, try the s’mores pancakes, which come with their own Fluff drizzle.

Location: 525 Tunxis Hill Cut Off, Fairfield, CT, 06824


5. When you’re ready to pig out: Flipside Burgers and Bar


Photo courtesy of @eatsleepandeatmore on Instagram


When my friends came to visit me second semester, I immediately offered up Flipside as a dinner location. Everyone loves a burger, and Flipside has plenty to choose from, no matter what your diet is. This spot offers veggie patties, chicken, turkey, and fish in addition to the standard beef, and when springtime rolls around, you can enjoy your sandwich on the outdoor patio.

What to Order: The Mac n’ Cheese burger is basically a college kid’s dream after a long night of “studying”. The burger is topped with a cake of creamy mac and cheese and is then covered with bacon and more creamy cheese sauce. But don’t worry Mom, there’s pico de gallo in there too, so your student is getting a serving of veggies with their meal (not really).

Location: 1125 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


6. When you need a late night slice: Colony Grill


Photo courtesy of @muffinsch on Instagram

While the Levee provides some great pizza on-campus, any returning Fairfield student will tell you that the best slices are from Colony Grill right in the center of town. This joint specializes in pizza and only pizza. Seriously, the only way you could get a salad here would be to order it on top of a pizza. And, as an added bonus, soon Fairfield’s favorite pies will be going mobile; Colony has recently instituted a pizza truck for all your cravings on the go.

What to Order: Go for what the restaurant is best known for: their signature hot oil pies. Sure, there’s plenty of other toppings to choose from, but there’s nothing wrong with ordering one of the classics.

Location: 1520 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


7. When you need a good location for a first date: Brick + Wood


Photo by Alexi Stathakis

First dates are supposed to be casual, relaxing, and full of good food. You can find all of these qualities at Brick + Wood in Fairfield. Classic Italian fare is this restaurant’s specialty, with delicious options ranging from pizzas to burratas to zeppoles. There’s also cozy outdoor seating, soft overhead lighting, and even a wine bar for the 21+ crowd.

What to Order: If your date is anything like me, he/she knows that dessert is the best part of any meal. Go for the B+W S’mores Pizza, made with Nutella, graham crackers, and marshmallows. All of the fun and coziness of a campfire, without smelling like smoke afterwards.

Location: 1275 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


8. When you want to eat greener: Freshii


Photo courtesy of @freshii on Instagram

At this fairly new Fairfield spot, you can eat greener in terms of health and in terms of the environment. Freshii’s big claim to fame is providing its customers with tasty food in eco-friendly, biodegradable packages. It’s convenient location right next to the bookstore and plethora of delicious options doesn’t hurt either. Fairfield students often refer to this place as “Chipotle’s health conscious cousin”, which I for one can absolutely get on board with.

What to Order: Try the Pangoa bowl, a tasty blend of brown rice, avocado, aged cheddar, cherry tomatoes, black beans, corn, cilantro, lime wedges, and that all important BBQ sauce. But if this combo of ingredients isn’t your thing, don’t freak out! Freshii offers customization on all of its orders, so it’s impossible to leave the store without something you like.

Location: 1499 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


9. When you want a better-for-you restaurant chain: b. good


Photo courtesy of @b.goodofficial on Instagram

b. good is similar to Freshii in that it provides healthy options in a fast food setting…but then again, Freshii doesn’t offer sweet potato fries. b. good offers classic cravings like burgers and fries while bringing in items that are sure to be your new favorites, like watermelon and feta bowls and kale smoothies. With more than 30+ locations in the U.S., even one in my small, Massachusetts hometown, and a smattering of locations abroad, it’s clear that b. good is enjoying plenty of success. What’s unclear is why you haven’t tried it yet.

What to Order: The Lucy Blue smoothie blends together common smoothie fixings like blueberries and almond milk with some new players like dates, lemon, almond butter, and cinnamon to create a perfectly sweet drink that hits the spot every time.

Location: 1460 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


10. When the sushi cravings hit you hard: Wild Rice


Photo courtesy of @delishdishh on Instagram

Sushi and Asian-inspired cuisine is a hot trend right now and is pretty much a cross-cultural mainstay in the United States. Fairfield has great options for Asian food, and Wild Rice is one of the best. Nearly everything on the menu has rave reviews from customers, and most items retail for under fifteen dollars, making it perfect for the college student budget.

What to Order: Though one of the menu’s more expensive plates, the grilled lemongrass shrimp is not to be missed. The seasonings are bright and fresh and the vegetables are perfectly crisp in the spicy belacan sauce.

Location: 1612 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


11. If you’re 21+: The Seagrape Café


Photo courtesy of @theseagrapecafe on Instagram

Better known to Fairfield students as “The Grape”, the Seagrape Café is the university’s preferred off-campus bar. The big draws are the cheap drinks, live entertainment, and the proximity to Fairfield’s beaches. Once students hit senior year, many are considered regulars at the Grape…and they wouldn’t have it any other way!

What to Order: Pick your poison! With a full bar, the Grape will have something for everyone, no matter what their taste (or tolerance). Keep an eye out for specials at the bar, too!

Location: 1144 Reef Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


12. When your parents are visiting: Quattro Pazzi Café


Photo courtesy of @leahadriane on Instagram

This restaurant in the center of Fairfield is popular for good reason. The interior is trendy, the staff is attentive, the outdoor seating is lively…oh yeah, and the food is great! Quattro Pazzi specializes in classic, seasonal Italian dishes and they deliver. Combining old school recipes with artisan ingredients, Quattro Pazzi is one of the most upscale dining experiences you can have outside of Il Belpaese. Sure, some of the dishes are a little expensive for the college budget, but if family’s in town, feel free to splurge!

What to Order: The fettucine mitty is a must-try! With Fairfield’s proximity to the ocean, you can definitely taste how fresh this dish’s scallops, shrimp, and lump crab meat are. And if you need more convincing, the pink cognac sauce pairs excellently with the restaurant’s fettucine.

Location: 1599 Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 06824


13. When you’re starving and late for class: Einstein Bros. Bagels


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While not technically an off campus eats (although Einstein’s does have a location on Black Rock Turnpike), Einstein’s is still definitely worth a try during your time at the university. This is where the majority of your StagBucks will go, and you won’t feel the least bit sorry about it. Whether you want a classic bagel, breakfast sandwich, or blended coffee drink, Einstein’s will be your go-to. But be warned: you’ll need to get there early before class, as the line can often stretch up the stairs to the Mezz.

What to Order: Three words: French. Toast. Bagel. It is an undeniable fact that someone will be ordering one when you pass the stand, and it will smell amazing. They’re definitely worth a try, and would go great with the stand’s frozen caramel macchiato. It’s practically dessert for breakfast, which is pretty much a (college) kid’s dream.

Location: Barone Campus Center (3rd floor), Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, 06824